Culture Club - Laura Gillespie

Issue 88

Laura runs a successful recruitment agency in Sunderland. She works with a wide and diverse range of businesses across the healthcare, marketing, IT, commercial and manufacturing sectors filling permanent positions for her clients both in the North East and Nationwide.

Who is your favourite author and why?

My favourite is a lady called Victoria Hislop, in particular a book called The Island; a historical novel based on a true story about Spinalonga where the Greek authorities created a leper colony. A fascinating book, and one I read every summer. I also like Jeffrey Archer. You never quite know what you’re going to get with him and he’s very articulate and I can easily get lost in his books.

What would be your three Desert Island Discs?

If I can dream by Elvis Presley, The Osmond’s, were my group when I was a kid (in particular Donny Osmond) so Crazy Horses, and finally Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell.

Who is your favourite film star and why?

I love Tom Hanks as every character he plays is fantastic. I’ve just seen him recently as Colonel Parker in Elvis and he made me hate Colonel Parker, he was so believable. Maggie Smith is amazing in Downton Abbey. She plays such a good part, I love her sarcasm and wit. She is a great example of how you can still get work in such a tough industry in your later years.

What are your top three films?

Grease, I know every word and every song. Another musical, a bit older but still a classic, Carousel and finally Doctor Zhivago. This is a very different movie; my husband hates it and when it’s on at Christmas I make him watch it with me.

Which poem left a lasting impression on you?

I love Daffodils as a flower and remember the poem by Wordsworth being taught at school by a particularly eccentric English teacher.

What box sets have you enjoyed?

I absolutely love Sons of Anarchy with Charlie Hunnam the Newcastle lad playing an absolutely fantastic lead. I’ve seen that series seven times. My husband is a biker and he said that the first episode is like EastEnders on bikes. My next favourite is Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Alison Steadman. I do wish I’d had the DVD when I was studying the book at school. I also enjoyed Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones and Die Hard.

Who is your favourite artist or performer?

I will always stay true to Donny Osmond, and from a musical point of view Elvis Presley as there is no one like him and never will be.

What is your favourite venue?

Definitely Newcastle City Hall. I’ve seen everyone from Meatloaf to The Osmond’s and The Everly Brothers to Dire Straits. I love music so if there’s an opportunity to go to the City Hall, I’ll take it.

Which musical instrument do you particularly enjoy?

I like to listen to the piano, but my husband plays guitar and banjo, which I enjoy. He once bought me a flute but it’s still in the box. I prefer to listen rather than play.

From the world of Arts and Culture who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

I would invite Donny Osmond, David Jason, Maggie Smith, Elvis Presley, and Tom Hanks too.

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